Holy Communion – Live Streamed – Sunday, 17 December 2023

Celebrant: Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga

Gathering Music


Gathering Prayer

Come, let us rejoice as we prepare to celebrate the Messiah’s birth.
Let us put Jesus in the spotlight with our worship and praise.


Hymn: Tell out, my soul

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of your word;
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name!
Make know his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same;
his holy name, the Lord, the mighty one.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm in his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children’s children and for evermore!

Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926)
based on Luke 1: 46–51

Prayer of Confession

Some of us, Lord, are not comfortable with searching questions directed at us.
We wriggle and squirm, wondering how best to answer
in order not to lose face, or be ridiculed or found wanting.
Some of us are more confident and self-indulgent,
choosing words that make us look better and relishing the spotlight.
John the Baptist had no such qualms or thoughts when questioned;
he willingly redirected the focus to Jesus, his mind fully focused on his mission.

Forgive us, Lord, for focusing on self, for neglecting others in need,
for pride, for half-truths, for lack of trust, for complaining.
Forgive us, we pray.
Help us to prepare the way for your return, Lord Jesus,
by focusing fully on you and helping to direct others to do the same.



Father God, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord came with the love and light of forgiveness,
that we may see you. Because of him our sins are forgiven.


Prayer of the Week

Father God, thank you for your presence here today.
Thank you that you speak to us through our worship.
Thank you that you speak to us through your Word.
Thank you that you speak to us through each other.
Help us to listen to your voice as we worship.
Help us to listen to your voice as Scripture is read.
Help us to listen to your voice as we seek your truth.


Lighting the Third Advent Candle

[The third Advent candle is lit.]

We come to worship with our questions.
We come to worship to discover something new.
We come to worship to find truth.
We come to see God’s light shine in the world today.


Ministry of the Word

Isaiah 61: 1–4 & 8–11

Read by Pat Kyd

The Year of the Lord’s Favour

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion –
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise<
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendour.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

8 ‘For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.’

10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the young plant come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.


This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Hymn: Longing for light (Christ be our light)

Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.

Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us.
Make us your living voice.

Christ be our light! ….

Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
shared until all are fed.

Christ be our light! ….

Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stone.

Christ be our light! ….

Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
helping your kingdom come.

Christ be our light! ….

Bernadette Farrell (b. 1957)

John 1: 1–7

Read by Robin Kyd

The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.


This is the Gospel of Christ.
Praise to Christ our light.


By Revd Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga


Affirmation of Faith

We believe in God the Father,
origin and destiny of us all.

We believe in the beloved Son,
promise of hope;
God’s laughter in the face of despair.

We believe in the Holy Spirit:
The sacred wind that bind us together in God’s love.

We believe on the coming of that day on this day,
when the creation will be made whole once more
and God’s peace and justice will reign on all people
and we will adore the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for ever and ever.


Prayers and Intercessions

Led by Cheryl Montgomery

Hymn: See him lying on a bed of straw

See him lying on a bed of straw:
a draughty stable with an open door;
Mary cradling the babe she bore
the Prince of Glory is his name.

O now carry me to Bethlehem
to see the Lord appear to men!
Just as poor as was the stable then,
the Prince of Glory when he came.

Star of silver sweep across the skies,
show where Jesus in the manger lies;
shepherds swiftly from your stupor rise
to see the Saviour of the World.

O now carry me to Bethlehem …

Angels, sing the song that you began,
bring God’s glory to the heart of man;
Sing that Bethl’ems little baby can
be salvation to the soul.

O now carry me to Bethlehem …

Mine are riches, from your poverty,
from your innocence, eternity;
mine forgiveness by your death for me,
child of sorrow for my joy.

O now carry me to Bethlehem …

Michael Perry (1942–1996)

Holy Communion

The Thanksgiving

As we come to this table, we are reminded that this is the Table of Jesus Christ,
a banquet prepared for everyone.
All who seek to be nourished and sustained in the journey of faith,
all who seek wholeness and compassionate paths to peace and justice, are welcome here.


Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this bread to offer,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
Through your goodness we have this wine to offer,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become our spiritual drink.

Blessed be God for ever.

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, Breath of peace, Giver of all life, Source of love that knows no boundaries.
Your song of wisdom rang out before the world began;
throughout the ages, your song of liberation has impregnated us with your hope for a world where:

Those considered last and least are first and most;
violence is overcome by the power of your ancient love;
and, all siblings work together for peace

You bring our longings to birth, and send prophets to awaken us to your approaching Advent among us.
We thank you for those who, like Mary, have the strength and courage
to give birth to your love in the world;
for those who, like the shepherds, dare to seek out the Child of Bethlehem;
for those who, like the wise ones, actively challenge violent and oppressive powers.

We praise you that your everlasting light is shown to us
in womb—and tomb,
in cradle—and cross,
in tenderness—and compassion.

We join in the Advent prayer of all your people, O come, Emmanuel.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
our King, our Teacher, our Hope and our Saviour. Come and save us.

And, as we wait and watch for your coming among us, we proclaim your goodness.
At this time, we also remember all with whom you would have us share your feast.


God of hope, make this bread the means of our rebuilding, this wine the medium of our transformation,
this Table the foundation of our renewal, and this community the place of our rebirth.

At this time, we remember Jesus, who, on the night before he died,
took a loaf of bread, gave you thanks, broke it, and said:

‘Take and eat; whenever you do this, remember me.’

Likewise, after supper, he took the cup, saying:

‘This is the new covenant; remember me.’

Gracious God, Breath of peace, Source of love, we pray for your Spirit.

Make us, while many, one.
Make us, though broken, whole.
Make us, despite death, alive.

And so we pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, come.

And so we join with our brothers and sisters around the world in the prayer Jesus taught us:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.


The Communion

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share in one bread.


Sharing the Bread and Cup

The body of Christ – the Bread of life.
The blood of Christ – the Cup of salvation.

Let us eat and drink together for our strengthening in the faith, and for the sake of the world.

Prayer after Communion

We thank you, God, for breaking into our world and pouring into our lives and our experiences.
We thank you, God, for this meal of thanksgiving and the stories of love, grace, and hope that it tells.



Cornerstone Christmas Charity Appeal 2023

Our annual Christmas appeal launches this weekend. There will be an envelope in the Reception area for members to collect on Sunday morning containing all the details. There are also leaflets and donation envelopes available there for those who are not on our membership list. Our annual appeal has raised over £128,000 in the last eleven years and this has been distributed among forty charities. The appeal is an opportunity for us, as Christians, to give to those locally and further afield who need us to be good neighbours to them.

The charities we are supporting this year

  • Advantage Africa (supporting practical projects to support vulnerable people in Uganda and Kenya.)
  • ‘Toilet Twinning’ (supporting good sanitation and hygiene in the poorest of countries)
  • MK Money Lifeline (providing free, confidential and impartial debt advice in Milton Keynes)
  • MK Act (a local domestic abuse intervention and support charity)

To donate by cash or cheque, please use the appeal donation envelopes provided and return them at any service in the collection baskets. Please make any cheques payable to ‘Cornerstone Christmas Appeal’. If you are a UK taxpayer, PLEASE fill in the gift-aid form on the envelope. This increases the value of your donation by 25%.

To donate online or by telephone banking please use the following account details:

Sort code:                               23 05 80 (Metro Bank)
Account number:                    43302825
Account name:                        Cornerstone Christmas Appeal

Please make your donations by 31 December 2023. Your generosity will be much appreciated!

Christmas Appeal Committee

Offering Envelopes for 2024

If you would like a set of offering envelopes for next year, please let me know. Those of you currently using envelopes are already on the list to receive a set for next year, but I need to know if there is anyone else who would like a set for 2024.

Janet Trimnell, steward.cccmk@gmail.com

Advent Bible Study

We are be using some of the Methodist study materials called ‘Out of the Ordinary’. You can have a look at https://www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/advent-and-christmas-resources. The Bible readings for this week’s session, ‘Listening’, are 2 Samuel 7: 1–16 and Luke 1: 26–38.


A Sending-out Prayer

Lord, help us to reflect you at work.
Help us to reflect you at school.
Help us to reflect you at home.
Help us to reflect you when we’re out.
Help us to reflect you with our friends.
Help us to reflect you to our neighbours.
Shine your light so all may see your love this Christmas.


Hymn: Go, tell it on the mountain

Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching
o’er wandering flocks by night,
behold from out of heaven
there shone a holy light.

Go, tell it on the mountain, …

And lo, when they had seen it,
they all bowed down and prayed,
they travelled on together
to where the Babe was laid.

Go, tell it on the mountain, …

When I was a seeker,
I sought both night and day:
I sked my Lord o help me
and he showed me the way.

Go, tell it on the mountain, …

He made me a watchman
upon the city wall,
and if I am a Christian,
I am the least of all.

Go, tell it on the mountain, …



Be people of peace.
Let peace live in your heart and share the peace of Christ with all you meet.
Share peace by acting out of compassion and not fear.
Share peace by listening to all sides of the story.
Share peace by praying for our world.
In this Advent season, we need to see, feel, and share peace.
As you go out into the wonder of God’s creations, share peace and hope with those you meet.

And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you today and always.



Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ,